NUDITY IN SUPPORT OF PRINCE HARRY
For 20 years now, New York-based photographer Spencer Tunick has been creating human art installations all over the world, calling together volunteers by the hundreds or thousands, asking them to remove their clothes, and photographing them in massive groups. His philosophy is that "individuals en masse, without their clothing, grouped together, metamorphose into a new shape." He aims to create an architecture of flesh, where the masses of human bodies blend with the landscape, or juxtapose with architecture. Collected here are images from several of his installations as they were being composed. Warning: The following photos all depict naked human bodies, and are not screened out.
People, as individuals and in groups, have varying attitudes towards their own nudity. Some people are relaxed about appearing less than fully clothed in front of others, while others are uncomfortable or inhibited in that regard. People are nude in a variety of situations, and whether they are prepared to disrobe in front of others depends on the social context in which the issue arises. For example, people need to bathe without clothing, some people also sleep in the nude, some prefer to sunbathe in the nude or at least topless. Many people are prepared to disrobe for a medical examination, while others are nude in other situations. Some people adopt nudism as a lifestyle.
Though the wearing of clothes is the social norm in most cultures, some cultures, groups and individuals are more relaxed about nudity, though attitudes often depend on context. On the other hand, some people feel uncomfortable in the presence of any nudity, and the presence of a nude person in a public place can give rise to controversy, irrespective of the attitude of the person who is nude. Besides meeting social disapproval, in some places public nudity may constitute a crime of indecent exposure. Many people have strong views on nudity, which to them can involve issues and standards of modesty, decency and morality. Some people have a psychological aversion to nudity, called gymnophobia. Many people regard nudity to be inherently sexual and erotic.
World Naked Bike Ride in Zaragoza
Three runners circa 333–332 BC. It was customary for ancient Greek athletes to compete in the nude.
An individual's personal attitudes to modesty have an impact on their attitudes to their own nudity as well as that of others. Some people regard any display of bare skin as erotic or offensive, while others are more relaxed about nudity. The attitudes to nudity are strongly dependent on the context in which it takes place, so that what may be considered inappropriate in one context (e.g. on a public street) may be acceptable in another context (e.g. in the home). These are individual subjective standards. Even personal standards take into account exceptional situations, when standards are waived or qualified, as in the case of medical examinations.
Public facilities generally reflect generally accepted community standards of dress. The same applies to public toilets, changing rooms, etc., where some degree of disrobing must take place. In those situations, gender-specific facilities are usually provided so as to reduce embarrassment of users of these facilities to predictable levels. Some countries allow non-gender-specific open space changing rooms with individual cubicles or stalls, and in some cultures communal showering, non-segregated saunas and other bathing facilities are also accepted. In some cultures and for some individuals, nudity may be considered inappropriate and embarrassing.
Main article: Public nudity
A society's attitude to public nudity varies depending on the culture, time, location and context of an activity. There are many exceptions and particular circumstances in which nudity is tolerated, accepted or even encouraged in public spaces. Such examples would include a nude beach, within some intentional communities (such as naturist resorts or clubs) and at special events.
In general and across cultures, more restrictions are found for exposure of those parts of the human body that display evidence of sexual arousal. Sex organs and often women's breasts are covered, even when other parts of the body may be freely uncovered. Yet the nudity taboo may have meanings deeper than the immediate possibility of sexual arousal, for example, in the cumulative weight of tradition and habit. Clothing also expresses and symbolizes authority, and more general norms and values besides those of a sexual nature.
Another common distinction is that gratuitous nudity is perceived as more offensive than the same degree of physical exposure in a functional context, where the action could not conveniently be performed dressed, either in reality or in a fictitious scene in art. The intent can also be invoked: whether the nudity is meant to affect observers; e.g. streaking can be considered unacceptably provocative, and nude sun tanning viewed mildly as rather inoffensive.
|Naked volunteers pose for the US photographer Spencer Tunick on the largest glacier in the Alps, Aletsch glacier, in Switzerland, as part of an environmental campaign about global warming near the mountain resort of Bettmeralp, on August 18, 2007. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)|| |
Naked volunteers lie on Aletsch glacier, posing for photographer Spencer Tunick as part of an environmental campaign about global warming, on August 18, 2007. The campaign organized by Greenpeace is aimed at drawing attention to melting Alpine glaciers, a clear sign of global warming and man-made climate change according to the organization. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images) #
Naked volunteers stand atop Aletsch glacier, posing for photographer Spencer Tunick as part of an environmental campaign about global warming near the mountain resort of Bettmeralp, on August 18, 2007. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)
- The Prince is shown in several pictures completely naked after a game of strip billiards with at least one girlHiding his modesty with his hands, the mystery nude young woman hides behind him in pictures on the US website TMZAnother snap shows him bear hugging a naked woman with his bare bottom facing the cameraPrince is on a trip to Vegas to recuperate after the OlympicsClarence House confirm to MailOnline that the pictures are genuineHarry is now on his way back to Britain
Prince Harry was today flying back to the UK to face a firestorm over explicit photographs showing him cavorting naked with a mystery woman in a Las Vegas hotel room.
The third in line to the throne has been accused of bringing the Royal Family into global disrepute after the pictures were leaked to a US website.
The grainy shots, taken on a fellow reveller’s mobile phone, show the Queen’s grandson stark naked – apart from a distinctive thong necklace – playing a game of ‘naked billiards’ in his high rollers’ suite at the five-star Wynn Hotel.
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Letting his heir down: Prince Harry relaxes poolside at the MGM Grand's Wet Republic surrounded by bikini-clad girls
In one picture the prince can be seen cupping his hands around his groin in a fruitless bid to preserve his modesty as the dark-haired girl hides behind him.
He can then be seen bear hugging a nude girl by the side of the pool table as other partygoers look on.
THE CONTROVERSIAL LIFE AND TIMES OF PRINCE HARRY
2002: The 17-year-old Harry admits to smoking cannabis and under age drinking, prompting his father Prince Charles to send him to visit patients at a drug treatment centre.
2004: The Prince gets in a drunken scuffle with a photographer as he leaves a London nightclub.
2005: Harry was pictured at a fancy dress party smoking and drinking while wearing a Nazi Afrika Korps uniform, complete with red swastika armband.
2006: Having joined the Army, Harry films other cadets and zooms in on the face of an Asian colleague and says: 'Ah, our little P*** friend ... Ahmed.' Later, while taking part in night manoeuvres in Cyprus, he is heard telling a a comrade: 'F*** me, you look like a raghead.'
2010: He was accused of animal cruelty after his horse suffered a bloody injury during a polo match. He was photographed riding a pony that appeared to have been stabbed in the flank by his spurs.
2012: Snapped playing strip billiards with a girl on his post-Olympics holiday in Vegas
The prince’s advisors at St James’s Palace were this morning locked in meetings about how best to handle the scandal as Harry flew back to Britain to resume his military duties following his 10-day break.
However senior royal sources made clear to MailOnline that the prince was in his hotel suite on a private holiday and had expected a 'reasonable degree of privacy.'
Another source close to the prince added: ‘Harry has always been exuberant and it's just the way he lets off steam.'
He could face a meeting with his Army superiors when he returns later today. Their rules state that 'social misbehaviour' is not acceptable, especially if it tarnishes the reputation of Britain's armed forces.
Any protestations are, however, unlikely to cut much ice with members of the public, shocked by the prince’s apparent lack of caution.
It is understood that the revellers present were members of the public the prince had met on his trip to Sin City and invited back to his room to ‘continue the party’.
American website TMZ, who have published the pictures, say the 'raucous party' happened after the prince and his friends made friends with 'a bunch of hot chicks'.
The group then went back to his huge suite, with a pool table, and they decided to play a strip version of the game which quickly ended in full nudity for Harry and at least one other mystery woman.
Harry checked into the suite at the five-star Wynn hotel and casino last week for some ‘full-on partying’, as the prince told one fellow guest.
The room has its own butler, games room including a pool table and private driveway.
The scandal also makes a mockery of his British tax-payer funded, round-the-clock, police protection team.
While the Scotland Yard officers – at least two of which have accompanied Harry on holiday – are not there to act as the prince’s moral compass, questions are bound to be asked at the highest level as to why they did not prevent the partygoers from at least taking photographs of his antics.
Former head of royal protection officer at the Met, Dai Davies, admitted it could be difficult to keep a handle on Harry, who he described as a 'lovely man' but 'a nightmare' to control sometimes.
'We're paying huge amounts of money for this young man to be followed everywhere he goes by security,' he told the Telegraph.
'He's a young man with lots of testosterone but there is a balance and occasionally that balance slips.'
Plush: The incident is believed to have taken place in a suite at the Wynn resort in Las Vegas, pictured
Expensive: A suite at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, pictured, is among the most expensive hotel rooms in Vegas
The latest incident to involve the party-loving prince has come as a huge disappointment to palace advisors who had been buoyed by Harry’s growing maturity.
Earlier this year the prince, who turns 28 next month, undertook his first official foreign tour on behalf of the Queen and charmed statesmen and members of the public alike from The Bahamas to Brazil.
The trip was deemed such a success that there was already talk of another trip next year if his military commitments permitted.
As a result the prince was also given several major roles at the London Olympics – including a position as official Team GB Ambassador and standing in for the Queen at the high-profile closing ceremony.
He has also won plaudits for his support of injured servicemen and women and even took part in a televised fund-raising trek to the North Pole on their behalf.
With his grandfather, Prince Philip, recently hospitalised for the third time in just eight months - putting even more pressure on the younger members of the family to take on royal duties - it will be difficult for St James’s Palace to shrug this off as mere high jinks.
It came as several stories about the Prince's trip to Vegas emerged since he arrived last week, including several other images of him partying with his top off.
Centre of attention: Prince Harry casts a lingering glance in the direction of the stunning blonde as he enjoys himself during a pool party in Las Vegas
Winding down: Prince Harry jetted out to Las Vegas - known as Sin City - for a little 'rest and recreation'
Harry even challenged swimming ace Ryan Lochte to a race after bumping into him in the VIP section of the Wynn Hotel’s XS nightclub in Las Vegas on Sunday.
Lochte, who was in Las Vegas celebrating his 28th birthday, told the Mail in a statement: ‘It was really fun swimming against Prince Harry. He’s a great guy, and it was a huge honor [sic] to meet him.
‘I was surprised that he challenged me actually. I didn’t know if he had any skills in the pool, but I definitely wasn’t going to take it easy on him!
‘He was a great competitor but in the end it was Team USA all the way to the wall!! Next time I’m in the UK it’d be fun to challenge him to something on his own turf.’
Harry even managed to beat Usain Bolt in a 20-yard dash earlier this year – by distracting him at the start.
And earlier that day, Harry had found himself surrounded by a gaggle of leggy lovelies who had made a bee-line for Las Vegas’s Encore Beach Club as news spread that the playboy prince was in town.
The prince had been filmed enjoying the poolside entertainment at the MGM Grand hotel and throwing a lingering glance towards one of the stunning bikini-clad women by a camera from television station 'Extra'.
High jinks: Earlier this week Harry, left, challenged gold medal-winner Ryan Lochte to a race in the pool of Vegas nightclub XS - and unsurprisingly was beaten by the Olympic champion
In white fedora and red floral shorts, 27-year-old Harry lapped up the attention of his new fan club on the latest leg of what has been dubbed his ‘endless summer’ before returning to the front line as a helicopter pilot.
He also lapped up copious amounts of his favourite Grey Goose vodka as well as some of the many cocktails on offer in Sin City.
Days after the London Olympics, at which he was an official ambassador for Team GB, Harry jetted out to the US for a little ‘rest and recreation’.
This took him to Vegas at the weekend, accompanied by two taxpayer-funded police bodyguards and his best friend, Tom ‘Skippy’ Inskip.
The group were seen playing the dice game craps, to the cheering and whooping of their fellow gamblers.
The following day Harry and Co headed off to a £950-a-day poolside bungalow at another Las Vegas landmark, the MGM Grand.
The hotel hosts raucous alcohol-fuelled parties four times a week under the brand ‘Wet Republic’, which attract up to 1,600 revellers to its two giant saltwater pools.
At 3am, bare-chested but still in his jeans, the prince enthusiastically threw himself into the club’s huge open-air pool.
Victory: When faced with a race against Usain Bolt, Prince Harry knew there was only one way he could ever win. Cheat
He was joined by the fully-clothed swimmer as friends attempted to carve a path through the pool, which was full of bikini-clad girls.
Shhh, I am a prince: Prince Harry, right, looked like he was trying to blend in shirtless in the pool.
Footage shot on a mobile phone shows Lochte, who won five gold medals in London, theatrically counting to three on one hand as he gives Harry a head start before heading off in hot pursuit.
Strangely – not least because he boasts several world records – Lochte only just beat the prince.
The truth, however, was revealed by another partygoer on Twitter, who said a fellow reveller had grabbed hold of Lochte’s legs as he kicked off for the one-length race. The tactic didn’t quite pay off – though some insisted it was Harry who won.
Official business: Prince Harry was Britain's royal representative, along with the Duchess of Cambridge, at London 2012's closing ceremony
Outside Harry’s bungalow was a private Jacuzzi from which the prince and his group chatted to a group of girls who had taken the cabana next door and ordered drinks from a menu boasting £65 pitchers of ‘dragonberry’ mojitos.
Just a few bungalows down was singer Jennifer Lopez, 43, and her dancer toyboy Casper Smart, 25, although it is understood they did not meet the prince.
At one point Harry borrowed a red singlet from the ‘bachelorette’ (an America term for hen party) girls next door and jumped on a friend’s shoulders, waving his hands in the air.
‘They had a blow-up whale in their area and were just fooling around, having some drinks and enjoying themselves,’ an onlooker said.
Viva Las Vegas: Prince Harry was joined by several friends at a private bungalow on the grounds of the MGM Grand on the Vegas strip
The excited ladies couldn’t resist taking to Twitter, posting pictures of them posing with the prince alongside giggly accounts of what a ‘gentleman’ he was.
One member of staff also admitted having ‘creepily’ kept the water bottle from which he had drunk.
The following day the group were in the water again, this time at the 60,000 square foot Encore Beach Club for another ‘adult pool party’, taking a bungalow with its own infinity hot tub.
The entertainment was rounded off with a visit to the resort’s XS nightclub where other VIP guests included US Olympic champion swimmer Ryan Lochte.
Harry has recently re-trained as an elite Apache attack helicopter pilot and completed a period of pre-deployment training with hopes of returning to the front line in Afghanistan in the near future.
A spokesman stressed that he was on a private holiday and was not entitled to any more leave than his fellow pilots.
He attended the Olympics in his own time and was not given any special dispensation by the military.
He is expected back in the UK in the next few days but will not attend the opening of next week’s Paralympic Games owing to his military commitments.
When military strategists talk about a frontal assault, this isn’t quite what they usually mean.
Thousands of British soldiers have stripped off in a show of support for their comrade Prince Harry, currently in trouble over nude photographs taken in Las Vegas.
From the scorching frontline in Afghanistan to rain-swept barracks in the UK, troops and supporters of the Armed Forces have followed his lead – and then posted the results on the internet, infuriating the top brass.
In the thick of it: Harry at Camp Bastion
Prince Harry is operating like a ‘World War Two Spitfire pilot’ after being scrambled to save the lives of British soldiers in Afghanistan.
The Royal has had ‘multiple engagements’ with the Taliban as he flies his fearsome Apache attack helicopter on emergency rescue missions on the battlefield.
The 28-year-old, who is known as Captain Wales in the Army, provides covering fire to lightly-armed Chinook helicopters as they land to evacuate wounded troops.
He is part of a four-man team on standby 24 hours a day to be called out on rescue missions and to destroy enemy targets.
A military source said: ‘Think World War Two Spitfire pilot and the Battle of Britain.
'He can be sat in a deckchair for hours then scrambled immediately.
‘When in the air his role is diverse. This is no game and Harry is on the frontline of a terrifying war.’
Prince Harry, who has been in the warzone for just over a month, is said to be taking the stressful role ‘in his stride’.
The source said: ‘He’s in the thick of it and is one of the lads.
He’s genuinely liked and respected by his comrades and if people think flying an Apache in a war zone is privileged child’s play they’re on another planet.
‘He’s genuinely risking his life in a war zone because he loves the Army and his country.’
The Prince arrived on the front line last month to join the Apache unit which has the highest ‘kill rate’ in the war.
On the frontline: Prince Harry prepares his Apache to go out on a mission
He is a co-pilot gunner during his four-month deployment, meaning he will fire the £40million aircraft’s weapons.
With its payload of laser-guided Hellfire missiles, the twin-engine chopper can target buildings being used for cover by the Taliban, reducing them to rubble.
And for enemy out in the open, the aircraft’s 30mm chain gun can be controlled from the gunner’s helmet-mounted display.
Harry is based at Camp Bastion, where he will serve with 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps.
The dangers the Prince is facing were brought into sharp focus last month when the Taliban launched a rocket attack on Camp Bastion and killed two US Marines.
The Taliban later said the Prince had been the intended target - a claim mocked as ‘propaganda’ by top brass.
Deadly: Apache helicopters, as flown by Prince Harry pictured earlier this year on manoeuvres, strikes fear into the Taliban
What's all the Huss? Soldiers from D Squadron The King's Royal Hussars pose in front of tanks
Sock it to 'em, lads: This woman shows more than just her support, while two jokers wear just socks and wig
Many of the servicemen and women are completely naked, using their hands or strategically placed guns, caps or rucksacks to protect their modesty.
In one photograph, men from D Squadron The King’s Royal Hussars posed nude in front of two Mastiff armoured patrol vehicles in Helmand. In another, a naked soldier salutes in front of an Army vehicle with only a plastic bottle to preserve his modesty.
Despite protests that the troops are merely joking around to ease the stress of battle, senior officers are understood to be unimpressed with the near-the-knuckle pranks. By last night more than 16,000 people had joined the Facebook group ‘Support Prince Harry With A Naked Salute!’.
This is for fighting: These lads aren't afraid to show off their weapons
Suited and booted: Just footwear protects this man's modesty, while this young lady may need a bigger uniform
Guns 'n poses: These troops keep themselves camouflaged... just about
It has become so popular that military personnel from around the world, including Israel and the US, have posted photos of themselves in the nude.
The page was set up by ex-soldier Jordan Wylie, 28, from Blackpool, after grainy pictures emerged of a naked Prince Harry – along with two nude girls – taken during a game of strip billiards in his £5,100-a-night suite at the Encore Wynn Hotel in Vegas.
Mr Wylie said: ‘It was outrageous [that] Harry was criticised for his antics in Las Vegas because he is just one of the lads.
‘He might be a royal but he is also a hard-working Apache helicopter pilot and he wants to have some fun. I’m sure Harry will be quietly smiling about the Facebook group.’ He may, however, be less amused by claims yesterday that a video of the romp exists.
Peace offering: These girls are willing to show their loyalty to the third in line to the throne
The 27-year-old royal, a captain in the Army Air Corps, is expected to be reprimanded for his behaviour when he returns from leave in a few weeks’ time.
As for his brothers (and sisters) in arms, a source close to the Army said it would be up to the commanding officers of individual soldiers in the photographs to decide if disciplinary action would be taken.
‘Everyone sees the funny side but there are people at senior levels in the Army who do not consider this to be appropriate. They will be thinking, “Does this really show us in the professional light we want to be seen [in]?”
‘It’s unlikely anyone will get the book thrown at them.’
The press watchdog has received 3,600 complaints after the Sun became the first British newspaper to print the naked photographs of Prince Harry.
All came from members of the public. None came from St James’s Palace or any other representatives of the Royal Family.
The Facebook page that has been set up in support of Harry has more than 15,000 members
Infamous holiday: Prince Harry seen at a Las Vegas pool party before the photographs of that game of strip billiards went public
Hats off to them: To cap it all off, these two beauties flash some cleavage for Harry
A feather in her cap: Patriotic supporter salutes before the Union Flag
That's the spirit! These women do a better job of preserving their modesty than the girls at Harry's Vegas bash
Tanks for the memories: Two servicemen salute Harry, with a sign to protect their modesty
Flagging up the issue: Only a strategically placed union Jack protects the modesty of these two
Camouflaged privates: These three use their helmets to help pay tribute
Hats off to the girls for showing their allegiance to Prince Harry
Naked volunteers stand look toward Aletsch glacier, posing for photographer Spencer Tunick as part of an environmental campaign about global warming on August 18, 2007. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images) #
Photographer Spencer Tunick (clothed) adjusts nude volunteers before shooting photographs of a group of 100 nudes on a rooftop in Barcelona, northeastern Spain, on June 9, 2003. (AP Photo/Pascual Gorriz) #
Photographer Spencer Tunick (3rd from left) directs several hundred naked volunteers covered in body paint on the stairs in front of the opera on Max-Joseph-Platz in Munich, on June 23, 2012. Around 1,700 people attended Tunick's latest project in the center of the Bavarian capital. (AP Photo/Lukas Barth)</ nobr> #
Some of the hundreds of naked volunteers covered in body paint have touch-ups applied before they pose for a photograph in Max-Joseph-Platz in Munich, on June 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Lukas Barth)</ nobr> #
Naked volunteers, numbering around 1700 people, pose for U.S. artist Spencer Tunick in downtown Munich, on June 23, 2012. (Reuters/Michaela Rehle) #
Volunteers stand up after being photographed by Spencer Tunick in Max-Joseph-Platz in Munich, on June 23, 2012. (AP Photo/Lukas Barth)</ nobr> #
Thousands of naked people posed at Vienna's Ernst-Happel stadium during a massive photo session with Spencer Tunick, on May 11, 2008. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak) #
Thousands of people pose in the nude for an installation by Spencer Tunick in Zocalo Square in Mexico City, on May 6, 2007. (Ronaldo Schemidt/AFP/Getty Images) #
Some of the thousands of volunteers standing naked, embracing in Mexico City's main Zocalo plaza during a massive photo session with Spencer Tunick the in the early hours of May 6, 2007. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #
Thousands of naked women celebrate in Mexico City's Zocalo plaza at the end of the photo session with photographer Spencer Tunick, on May 6, 2007. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills) #
Thousands of naked volunteers pose for Spencer Tunick in Mexico City's Zocalo square May 6, 2007. According to the organizers, almost 20,000 people took off their clothes for the photo session. (Reuters/Daniel Aguilar) #
Logistics personnel direct as thousands of naked people crouch in Mexico City's Zocalo plaza during a massive photo session with Spencer Tunick, on May 6, 2007. (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
Thousands of naked volunteers pose for Spencer Tunick in Mexico City's Zocalo square, on May 6, 2007. (Reuters/Henry Romero) #
Four-hundred and fifty unclothed women are arrayed on the floor around the information booth in New York's Grand Central Terminal as they are photographed by artist Spencer Tunick as part of a human art installation, on October 26, 2003. The women - all volunteers - arrived at Grand Central at about 3 a.m., stripped off their clothes, and composed their bodies into sculptural shapes and formations meant to imitate streets, buildings and cityscapes. (AP Photo/Jennifer Szymaszek)
Naked volunteers stand on escalators during New York artist Spencer Tunick's "Be Consumed" installation at Selfridge's department store in London, on April 27, 2003. (Reuters/John Pryke) #
Naked volunteers pose for Spencer Tunick in the Europarking building in Amsterdam, on June 3, 2007. (Reuters/Koen van Weel) #
Naked volunteers stand on an "invisible" bridge constructed by for photographer Spencer Tunick for a photoshoot in Amsterdam June 3, 2007. (Reuters/Koen van Weel) #
Thousands of naked people stand in the Europarking building during a massive photo session with Spencer Tunick in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on June 3, 2007. (AP Photo/Evert Elzinga) #
Naked women on bicycles pose on a bridge during a massive photo session with Spencer Tunick in Amsterdam, on June 3, 2007. (AP Photo/Evert Elzinga) #
Nude models directed by Spencer Tunick hold bottles in a Bourgogne (Burgundy) vineyard near Macon, France, on October 3, 2009, for a giant photograph during an operation with Greenpeace. The event was organized to call attention on the danger of climate change ahead of negotiations on a global climate treaty in Copenhagen. (Jeff Pachoud/AFP/Getty Images) #
Volunteer participants pose naked inside the Stadschouwburg theatre in Belgium during a photo session with Spencer Tunick in the northern Belgian city of Bruges. (Reuters/Peter Maenhoudt) #
Hundreds of naked volunteers pose nude for an installation for Spencer Tunick at the Ehrenhof museum complex in Duesseldorf, Germany, on August 6, 2006. (Volker Hartmann/AFP/Getty Images) #
Naked volunteers kneel on the road during New York artist Spencer Tunick's installation at Montjuich mountain in Barcelona, on June 8, 2003. Around 15,000 volunteers posed naked for Tunick's Body Craze in the street. (Reuters/Albert Gea) #
U.S. artist Spencer Tunick photographs naked volunteers in front of the Sydney Opera House, on March 1, 2010. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne) #
Naked volunteers pose for Spencer Tunick in front of the Sydney Opera House, on March 1, 2010. Organizers estimated 5,200 people posed for the early morning nude photo installation titled "Mardi Gras: The Base". (Reuters/Tim Wimborne)
Naked volunteers lie in front of the Sydney Opera House, on March 1, 2010, posing for a massive group photo. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne) #
Naked volunteers stand in front of the Sydney Opera House for artist Spencer Tunick, on March 1, 2010. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne) #
Naked volunteers embrace in front of the Sydney Opera House, on March 1, 2010. (Reuters/Tim Wimborne)
Some people take part in non-sexual public nude events. These may be in a naturist resort or club or at a nude beach. Outdoor nude recreation can take place in private or rural areas, though generally limited to warm weather.
Others practice casual public nudity. Topfree sunbathing is considered acceptable by many on the beaches of Finland, France, Spain, Italy and most of the rest of Europe (and even in some outdoor swimming pools); however, exposure of the genitals is restricted to nudist areas in most regions. In the United States, topfree sunbathing and wearing thongs are not common in many areas, but are limited to nude beaches in various locations. It is normally acceptable for men in the U.S. to be barechested or shirtless when engaged in outdoor recreational activities.
Where the social acceptability of nudity in certain places may be well understood, the legal position is often less clear cut. In England, for example, the law does not actually prohibit simple public nudity, but does forbid indecent exposure. In practice, this means that successful prosecution hangs on whether there is a demonstrable intention to shock others, rather than simply a desire to be nude in a public place. Specifically, using nudity to "harass, alarm or distress" others is an offence against the Public Order Act of 1986. Occasional attempts to prove this point by walking naked around the country therefore often result in periods of arrest, followed by release without charge, and inconsistencies in the approach between different police jurisdictions. Differences in the law between England and Scotland appear to make the position harder for naked ramblers once they reach Scotland.
Means of attracting attention
Nudity is at times used to draw attention to a cause, with the participants remaining anonymous. Nude events are at times staged as a forum for usually unrelated messages, such as clothing-optional bike rides. At times, the cause is merely a personal justification for taking part in a nude event, which are popular in their own right. Many nude calendars are produced each year featuring naked men or women. Some of these are produced to raise money for charities or other causes. Nudity, like sexuality, is also used to draw attention for a commercial purpose, such as for promotion or advertising.
People pose at Lyon's harbor for photographer Spencer Tunick, on September 11, 2005, during the "Biennale de Lyon" modern art event. (JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)
Mainstream art generally reflects – with some exceptions – social standards of aesthetics and morality of a society at various periods of time. Beyond mainstream standards, artistic expression may be merely tolerated, or be considered as fringe. Since prehistoric time, humans, both male and female, have been depicted in all states of dress, including all states of undress. Nudity in all styles has been and continues to be found in art. Nudity is also a subject of many literary works and in film. All professionally-produced works of art use stylised compositions to depict the nude body. This also applies to cinema, where even nude scenes are staged and rehearsed.
The erotic aspect of nudity in the arts has been an important factor in its attraction, and has come to be associated with certain states and emotions, such as innocence, playfulness, vulnerability, etc. Pornography does not necessarily involve a naked person, but it involves sexualized scenes, and usually it does not claim to have any artistic merit.
The visual arts were at times the only means available to the general public to view a nude body. Today, the opportunities available for the viewing of the nude body are very wide, and these include magazines, television, films, and the Internet.
Personal privacy issues
Unlike arts in general, which traditionally relied on composed works and professional artists, the invention of photography and then the video camera has opened the art of capturing images of people and of scenes at a relatively low cost to the true amateur. Furthermore, a person could now capture images in both public and private situations. A feature of most of these private photographs and videos is that they are not intended for viewing outside of a very limited range of people, and seldom if ever by the general public.
Vernacular photography, which included nude photography and which previously has been produced for personal enjoyment, is increasingly being more widely disseminated by the medium of the Internet, at times without the knowledge and consent of the subject of the photograph, and to their subsequent embarrassment. Also, the use of secret photography to capture images of an unsuspecting person (undressed or not, and whether for personal use, or intended for posting on the Internet) creates additional personal privacy issues.
Full body scanner
Main article: Full body scanner
A full-body scanner is a device that creates an image of a person's nude body through their clothing to look for hidden objects without physically removing their clothes or making physical contact. They are increasingly being deployed at airports and train stations in many countries.
One technology used under the name "full-body scanner" is the millimeter wave scanner, the active form of which reflects extremely high frequency radio waves off the body to make an image on which one can see some types of objects hidden under the clothes. Passive millimeter wave screening devices rely on only the raw energy that is naturally emitted from the human body or objects concealed on the body; passive devices do not transmit millimeter waves. Another technology in use is the backscatter X-ray.
Functional nudity for a short time, such as when changing clothes on a beach, is sometimes acceptable, while staying nude on the beach generally is not. On nude beaches it is acceptable to be nude.
Breastfeeding in public is forbidden in some jurisdictions, not legislated for in others, and a legal right in public and the workplace in yet others. Where it is a legal right, some mothers may be reluctant to breastfeed, and some people may object to the practice.
Toplessness and "topfreedom"
A topless woman sunbathing
In many western societies and in appropriate settings, such as while suntanning, the exposure of women's breasts is not, of itself, normally regarded as indecent exposure. In the United States, however, exposure of female nipples is a criminal offense in many states and not usually allowed in public (see Public indecency), while in the United Kingdom, nudity may not be used to "harass, alarm or distress" according to the Public Order Act of 1986.
Prosecutions of cases has given raise to a movement advocating "topfreedom", promoting equal rights for women to have no clothing above the waist, on the same basis that would apply to men in the same circumstances. The term "topfree" rather than "topless" is advocated to avoid the latter term's perceived sexual connotations.
Naturism (or nudism) is a cultural and political movement practising, advocating and defending private and public nudity. It is also a lifestyle based on personal, family and/or social preference.
Naturists reject contemporary standards of modesty which discourage personal, family and social nudity, and seek to create a social environment where people feel comfortable in the company of nude people, and being seen nude, either just by other naturists, or also by the general public……
The trend in some European countries (for instance Germany, Finland and the Netherlands) is to allow both genders to bathe together naked. Many German spas allow mixed nude bathing. For example the Friedrichsbad in Baden-Baden has designated times when mixed nude bathing is permitted. There may be some older German bathhouses, such as Bad Burg, which remain segregated by gender, but this is the exception rather than the rule. Most German (not to mention French, Spanish and Greek) beaches and swimming pools offer FKK (clothing-optional) areas. In general, continental Europeans have a more relaxed attitude about nudity than is seen in the British-influenced world. Some have attributed this difference to the influence of Queen Victoria's husband Albert, who was raised in a very restricting religious sect (see Victorian morality).
A nude couple in bed
The sauna, originating from Finland, is attended nude in its source country as well as in most Scandinavian and in the German-speaking countries of Europe. This is true even when a swimsuit must be worn in the swimming pool area of the same complex. Saunas are very common in modern Finland, where there is one sauna for every three people and became very popular in the remainder of Europe in recent decades. Gender segregation is more the exception than the rule in modern European sauna facilities.
Main article: Nudity and sexuality
Nudity in front of a sexual partner is widely accepted, but not in all cases. For example, some partners insist on nudity only at the time and place of sex, or with subdued lighting; during bathing with the partner or afterward; covered by a sheet or blanket, or while sleeping.
A woman wearing traditional clothing in southern Ethiopia, where toplessness among women is normal
Attitudes in Western cultures are not all the same as explained above, and likewise attitudes in non-Western cultures are many and variant. In almost all cultures, acceptability of nudity depends on the situation.
Cultural and/or religious traditions usually dictate what is proper and what is not socially acceptable. Many non-Western cultures allow women to breastfeed in public, while some have very strict laws about showing any bare skin.
The curse of nakedness
Main article: Anasyrma
In Africa, woman have used stripping naked on purpose as a curse, both historically, and in modern times. The idea is that women give life and they can take it away. The curse initiates an extreme form of ostracism, which anthropologist Terisa Turner has likened to "social execution". The curse extends to foreign men as well, and is believed to cause impotence, madness or other similar harm. The threat has been used successfully in mass protests against the petroleum industry in Nigeria, by Leymah Gbowee during the Second Liberian Civil War., and against President Laurent Gbagbo of the Ivory Coast.
Clothing and nudity
Different traditions exist among, for example, sub-Saharan Africans, partly persisting in the post-colonial era. Whereas it is the norm among some ethnic and family groups including some Burkinabese and Nilo-Saharan (e.g. Nuba and Surma people) in daily life or on particular occasions not to wear any clothes or without any covering below the waist – for example, at highly-attended stick-fighting tournaments well-exposed young men use the occasion to catch the eye of a prospective bride.
In modern Liberia, soldiers under General "Butt Naked" Joshua Blahyi fought naked in order to terrorize their opponents. Nude except for lace-up leather shoes and a gun, the general led his fierce Butt Naked Battalion into battle on behalf of the warlord Roosevelt Johnson, who hired the unclothed warriors for their fearlessness and fighting skills.
In Brazil, the Yawalapiti, an indigenous Xingu tribe in the Amazon Basin, practice a funeral ritual known as Quarup, to celebrate life, death and rebirth, and also involves the presentation of all young girls who have begun menstruating since the last Quarup and whose time has come to choose a partner.
In Japan, public baths are very common. Bathing nude with family members or friends of the same (or sometimes opposite) gender in public bath houses, saunas, or natural hot springs (Onsen) is popular. In Korea, public baths (Jjimjilbang) are also widespread and communal nude bathing is normal, although nudity is not permitted in unisex areas. In the south Asian region, public nudity is totally restricted.
Nudity is considered shamelessness in the conservative society of India. Some of the conservative people with extreme religious views also consider bathing in nudity as an insult to the water goddess. Hence, nudity in the view of orthodox society is considered a sin.
Three runners circa 333–332 BC. It was customary for ancient Greek athletes to compete in the nude.
It is not clear when humans started wearing clothes. Anthropologists postulate the adaptation of animal skins and vegetation into coverings to protect the wearer from cold, heat and rain, especially as humans migrated to new climates; alternatively, covering may have been invented first for other purposes, such as magic, decoration, cult, or prestige, and later found to be practical as well. For men and women, public nudity was at least permissible in ancient Sparta, and customary at festivals.
In some hunter-gatherer cultures in warm climates, near-complete nudity has been, until the introduction of Western culture, or still is, standard practice for both men and women. In some African and Melanesian cultures, men going completely naked except for a string tied about the waist are considered properly dressed for hunting and other traditional group activities. In a number of tribes in the South Pacific island of New Guinea, the men use hard gourdlike pods as penis sheaths. Yet a man without this "covering" could be considered to be in an embarrassing state of nakedness. Among the Chumash peopled of southern California, men were usually naked, and women were often topless. Native Americans of the Amazon Basin usually went nude or nearly nude; in many native tribes, the only clothing worn was some device worn by men to clamp the foreskin shut. However, other similar cultures have had different standards. For example, other native North Americans avoided total nudity, and the Native Americans of the mountains and west of South America, such as the Quechuas, kept quite covered.
In 1498, at Trinity Island, Trinidad, Christopher Columbus found the women entirely naked, whereas the men wore a light girdle called guayaco. At the same epoch, on the Para Coast of Brazil, the girls were distinguished from the married women by their absolute nudity. The same absence of costume was observed among the Chaymas of Cumaná, Venezuela, and Du Chaillu noticed the same among the Achiras in Gabon.
Nudity (full or partial) can be part of a corporal punishment or as an imposed humiliation, especially when administered in public. In fact, torture manuals have distinguished between the male and female psychological aversion to self-exposure versus being disrobed.
In 2003, Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad gained international notoriety for accounts of torture and abuses by members of the United States Army Reserve during the post-invasion period. Photographic images were circulated that exposed the posing of prisoners naked, sometimes bound, and being intimidated and otherwise humiliated, resulting in widespread condemnation of the abuse.
Main article: Nudity in religion
A religious sect known as Naga sadhu (monk) can be seen nude. These sadhus usually remain naked or some wear a loin-cloth around their waist and ashes smeared over their body. They usually remain in their Akhara (group, also means a wrestling arena) or deep forest and come out in public only during the Kumbha Mela festival. They have a very long history and are warrior monks, who usually also carry a talwar (sword), trishul (trident), bhala (javelin) or such weapons, and in mediaeval times have fought many wars to protect Hindu temples and shrines.
After a wet spring and a washout summer, you might have thought we were owed a fine September of warm sunshine. Well, dream on. The Indian summer appears to be over already.
You’ll need jackets and umbrellas from today and while you’re at it you might want to look out a scarf and gloves.
People attempt to set a new world record for the biggest ever skinny dip in Druridge Bay, Northumberland
A crowd of just over 200 people ran into the sea at sunrise to raise money for mental health charity Mind
Unfortunately the world record attempt fell just short of the numbers required for a new landmark
The skinnydippers take in a fantastic sunset during the charity event occurring on the day of the autumn equinox
Similarly, the Aghori, followers of mystic tantric rituals and who usually stay in isolated place or cremation grounds, can be found naked. But they do not appear in public nor do the general public go to meet them. Sightings of Aghori in public places is very rare.
In Jainism, there is a major sect of Digambar Jain, whose monks remain naked. The people of this sect keep their god naked. Though the Shwetambar is the another major sect of this religion who have opposite views to the Digambars. The Shwetambar monks always cover their whole body and keep their god in clothes.
In Judaism, a person who enters a ritual bath (a mikveh) does so without clothing. This includes jewelry and even bandages.
In the early Christian Church, nudity was considered acceptable in some contexts such as working outdoors. For example, the Gospel of John (21:7 King James Version) describes Simon Peter being naked ("for he was naked") while fishing from a boat, but then dresses in order to meet Christ.
The first recorded liturgy of baptism, written down by St. Hippolytus of Rome in his 'Apostolic Tradition', required the removal of all clothing for both men and women, including all foreign objects such as jewellery and hair fastenings. This practice is reflected in early Christian art depicting baptism.
When artistic endeavors revived following the Renaissance, the Catholic Church was a major sponsor of art bearing a religious theme, many of which included subjects in various states of dress and including full nudity. Painters sponsored by the Church included Raphael, Caravaggio and Michelangelo, but there were many others. Many of these paintings and statues were and continue to be displayed in churches, some of which were painted as murals, the most famous of which are at the Sistine Chapel painted by Michelangelo.
In Islam, the area of the body not meant to be exposed in public is called the awrah, and while referred to in the Qur'an, is addressed in more detail in hadith. In the Sunni tradition, the male awrah is from the navel to knees. Other denominations have differing interpretations. For women, there are different classifications of awrah. In public, many Muslim women wear the hijab and long dresses which covers most of their head and body, with only specific body parts such as hands and face allowed to show. But in front of direct family (parents, children, siblings), the awrah is relaxed further, allowing them to uncover, except between the chest and the thighs. Sharia law in some Islamic countries requires women to observe purdah, covering their entire bodies, including the face (see niqab and burqa), However, the degrees of covering vary according to local custom and/or interpretation of Sharia law.
Naked volunteers pose for Spencer Tunick at the Museum Kunstpalast in Duesseldorf, on August 6, 2006. (Reuters/Ina Fassbender)
They normally use their riding equipment to protect themselves from a nasty fall.
But when this group of women from a hunting group decided to bare all for a naked calendar, it wasn't their bones which needed protecting.
Instead, they used helmets, saddles and other hunting paraphernalia to protect their modesty.
Brave: Over a dozen ladies aged from 18 to 65 have bared all in the Tynedale Hunt 2013 calendar. Charity: The calendar is being sold to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance.
Bold: They used helmets, saddles and other hunting paraphernalia to protect their modesty. Over a dozen ladies aged from 18 to 65 were pictured in the Tynedale Hunt 2013 calendar which is being sold to raise money for the Great North Air Ambulance. The idea of baring it all for a good cause came from Claire Angus who is head groom for the Northumberland-based hunt. She disrobed alongside 14 other volunteers for the photographs, including supporters' club committee chairman Val Armstrong and hunt secretary Catherine Leech. Ms Angus said: 'It was amazing how much we were chatting to each other and the experience brought us all closer together, even though it was really cold! Hard at work: The photographs were taken by hunt member Verity Johnson
Daring: Members of the hunt are seen striking a pose alongside horses and hounds, in scenes from the Hunt Tea, Hay Shed, Tack Room and The Hunt Ball
Bare: The photographer said some of the women were daunted at first but they soon relaxed and enjoyed the experience
'I thought it was a fantastic fundraising idea, especially for the air ambulance which is relied on a lot for horse events and our hunt.' The photographs were taken by hunt member Verity Johnson, showing members striking a pose alongside horses and hounds, in scenes from the Hunt Tea, Hay Shed, Tack Room and The Hunt Ball. Verity said: 'The ladies were a bit daunted at first but once the gowns were off, it was a good giggle. 'There was one shoot we did where the ladies were on bikes and the hounds were meant to follow, but they wouldn't, so we ended up getting one of the huntsmen to lead them on - it was a scream.
Naked: A total of 15 women volunteered for the photographs
Bareback: The experience of making the calender brought the group of women closer together
Chilly: Despite enjoying the experience, many of the women were left freezing cold after standing around naked outside
'Everyone got to know each other and formed even stronger friendships because they'd had such a bizarre experience together.
'Frank Houghton-Brown, the joint master of the Tynedale Hunt, has been so supportive of us and what we are doing.'
So far 140 calendars have been sold in just four days and the Tynedale Hunt Calendar is now on sale for £13.95.
Popular: So far 140 calendars have been sold in just four days
Fun: The calendar is now on sale for £13.95